Arizona Ruling Limits Pre-Lawsuit Claim Requirement

January 28, 2009

The Arizona Supreme Court split the difference in an opinion interpreting a law requiring people to submit damage claims stating a settlement amount before filing lawsuits against the state or its local governments.

At issue is how the law applies to possible class-action lawsuits.

The Supreme Court said individuals filing a claim have to state a possible settlement amount for themselves. But they don’t have to do so on behalf of a proposed class of other plaintiffs.

The court said it’s premature at that stage to know numbers of potential class-action plaintiffs, dollar amounts for their potential claims and their willingness to settle.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Phoenix over retirement benefits.

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